Get me off this island!

Why opponents of the Affordable Care Act are fighting tooth and nail to protect a failing system rather than support what is now law.

By: Li Litombe, J.D. Candidate 2015, City University of New York School of Law

Imagine there is an island in the middle of the ocean. The inhabitants of the island have been informed that it is sinking. Island officials, composed of members of the Blue party and the Red party, vote and a majority agree on a solution. They arrange that a rescue vessel will pick up all the islanders. Immediately after the vessel arrives, the Red party officials complain, “What is this vessel doing here?!” They claim the boat has deplorable conditions. They say the boat is not fast enough and has too few amenities. Nevertheless, in the midst of all the complaints and debates, many islanders are getting on the boat. Why? Because no matter how much the two parties complain, the island will surely sink. So why not get off of the island and employ the only sensible solution. Why not accept that the solution that everyone voted on is here? Rather than waste time and effort searching for blame, why not fix the issues the boat has?

The Affordable Care Act (the Boat) was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The purpose of the law was to address the failure of the American Healthcare System (the Island) to provide affordable comprehensive health coverage. One way it would achieve its goal would be by lowering the uninsured rate through an expansion of  public and private insurance coverage, and reducing the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government. Prior to becoming law the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went through the legislative process. After enactment the ACA survived constitutional challenges in the Supreme Court. One would think after such a rigorous process officials would work cohesively to ensure the success of what is now law. Wrong! Instead of working to ensure the success of the new law, opponents have focused their efforts on outright attempts at sabotage or assigning blame for its shortcomings. The few alternatives that have been proposed fail to ensure what the Affordable Care Act will ultimately achieve, access to healthcare for millions of Americans.

The “Everything is Fine” Approach Continue reading


“Breaking into the Legal Academy” Program at Thurgood Marshall School of Law

On Thursday, February 26, 2014, the Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) will host “Breaking into the Legal  Academy” from 1:00-5:00 p.m.  This session is designed for practitioners, recent graduates, and law students of color who are considering law teaching.  This half-day session is part of the annual Southeast/Southwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference.

If you are interested in a career in legal academia, whether as an administrator, librarian, or faculty member (including research and writing, clinical, and traditional faculty), this session is for you.  Speakers and discussants include administrators, hiring committee chairs, and current law professors.  Discussion materials will focus on the expectations, roles and responsibilities of the different teaching positions.  In addition, the nuts and bolts of the various application and interview processes will be discussed.

THE SESSION IS FREE.  However, we do ask that all participants register for the session so that we may plan accordingly. (Snacks, drinks and coffee will be provided.) You may also choose to register for the entire conference, where there will be opportunities to present scholarly works in progress.  You may register for the session or the conference at ”

If you have any questions about the “Breaking into the Legal  Academy” session, please contact either Professor SpearIt at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law ( 313-7276) or Professor Nareissa Smith at North Carolina Central University School of Law (nsmith55@nccu.edu919-530-5483).  For moreinformation about the conference, please visit the conference website or the SE/SW facebook page –

Thurgood Marshall Opportunity Program | Maryland Office of the Attorney General

In keeping with an ongoing commitment to provide superior legal representation with a professional staff that possesses a broad array of diverse talent, background, and experience, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General has created the Thurgood Marshall Opportunity Program. Below is a letter, synopsis, and FAQ.  These documents provide some background about the Attorney General’s Office, a description of the Thurgood Marshall Opportunity Program, and application details.

Applications for Summer 2014 are due by February 14, 2014.  Please feel free to contact Carol Scheiber with any questions you may have about the Program at (410) 576-7943.

2014 Thurgood Marshall Opportunity Program – Law Association Officers

2014 TMOP FAQ Sheet

2014 TMOP Synopsis

Law Student Scholarship Opportunity – Hamilton County, Ohio Resident

The Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC) awards the William A. McClain Scholarship each year to a Black student and Hamilton County, Ohio* resident attending any ABA accredited law school who demonstrates leadership potential and dedication to community.

Please assist us by notifying students who may be eligible.  The application, scholarship description, and other information may be found at the BLAC website –  Applications must be received by e-mail by 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

We’re an Entrepreneurial Culture. Get Entrepreneurial

This piece, written by Susan Carter Liebel, discusses tapping into our entrepreneurial nature with a synopsis of the current legal market and clear objectives to follow for successful solo practice. An expert on the topics of solo practice and working for smaller firms, Liebel is the CEO of Solo Practice University, an online educational program which masterfully tackles the questions new solo practitioners often face.  

I remember watching Ben Bernanke on 60 minutes and after all the gloss and political correctness he said two things which struck me.  First he made it very clear we are in for a rough ride the next four to five years and that was quite an admission.  (I personally believe we are going to be in for a rough ride the whole decade and for a whole host of reasons).  And then he said the magic words:

We’ll be fine eventually as we are an entrepreneurial culture.

Yes, Ben, we are.

And on that same day, renowned economic expert, Harry Dent Jr. wrote:

In business, creative entrepreneurs will be the big winners as they were in the down economies of the 1930s and 1970s.

I’m not a fan of Bernanke (he was apparently an economic advisor contributing to Japan’s bad decisions which have led to their decades long economic woes. As a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on February 20, 2004, Bernanke gave a speech: The Great Moderation, where he postulated that we are in a new era, where economic volatility has been permanently eliminated! (Really, Ben?) However, Bernanke has given us a clue as to our future.  He is basically saying it’s every person for themselves.

And the recent numbers support this: Continue reading

Arent Fox’s 9th Annual Diversity Scholarship for 1Ls

Arent Fox is accepting applications for the 9th Annual Diversity Scholarship Program.  We will award a $15,000 scholarship to three first-year law students in our Washington, New York, and Los Angeles office.

Arent Fox’s 2014 Summer Program will last for 10 weeks; from May 19 through July 25, 2014.  The summer associate salary is $3,000 per week, and the scholarship recipient will receive the $15,000 award in July 2014.  All scholarship recipients are expected to participate in the 2014 Summer Program.

Continue reading

Internship Alert! Office of the New York State Attorney General, Civil Rights Bureau



Summer Internship Program

Reference No. CRI_VLS_SLIP_NYC_2014

The Office of the New York State Attorney General, Civil Rights Bureau, is seeking students for its 2014 Summer Internship Program. The Program generally runs for 8 to 10 weeks between June and August. Interns commit to work full time for the entire duration of the program. These internships are either volunteer positions, externships for course credit, funded by a public service grant obtained by the student, or work study funded by their school.

The Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office works to promote equal justice under law and seeks to enforce the civil rights of all New Yorkers.  The Bureau enforces laws that protect all New Yorkers from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, source of income or disability. Using federal, state, and local civil rights laws, such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other landmark laws, the Bureau investigates and prosecutes discrimination in a variety of areas. Continue reading

Opportunity to write for ABA’s Litigation News!

Write for Litigation News!

The American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s national news magazine, Litigation News, seeks excellent writers interested in joining the editorial board as contributing editors. Contributing editors write four articles per year and attend two ABA conferences. This is a great opportunity to get your name out there and connect with attorneys across the country. Litigation News is published quarterly in print, and adds stories at least weekly to its online version. Its print circulation exceeds 50,000.

Interested? Send a resume and writing sample to by January 17, 2014. We will notify those applicants selected to participate in our annual write-on competition by February 1, 2014.

Wolverine Bar Association Summer Clerkship & Judicial Externship Program

The Wolverine Bar Association Summer Clerkship & Judicial Externship Program strives to increase the number of minority attorneys employed as partners, associates, in-house counsel, and in other well-respected positions within the legal community.  To achieve this goal, the Program places first-year minority law students in clerkship positions that will provide opportunities to establish a network of contacts, develop practice skills, and acquire other intangible benefits gained from the experience of working in a challenging professional environment, all of which are critical to the launch of a successful legal career.  The Program also provides participating employers an additional mechanism to accomplish their individual diversity goals and express their commitment to and underscore the importance of diversity in the legal community.

Through the SCP, students admitted into the summer program are placed at Michigan’s largest firms. Those same students may qualify to clerk for a federal judge in the Eastern District of Michigan for approximately four weeks or more through the JEP.  In just one summer’s time, students can gain practical experience at a large firm and at the federal court level.  Students must apply to both programs to qualify for the dual program.

Please note that while the SCP is exclusively for first-year students, the JEP is not. The JEP will consider first and second year students. First-year students may apply to the SCP or the JEP or both. The requirements for each program are detailed in the attached applications.

2014 Judicial Externship Program Application Packet & 2014 WBA Summer Clerkship Program Application Packet